Complex geometric design

Date: 08/03/2019
Ingenuity was key for Yorkshire’s leading metal fabricators who have been working with an expert in Islamic geometric design to bring functionality to art.
Author, educator and designer specialising in Islamic geometric design, Eric Broug turned to Yorkshire Laser Fabrications to manufacture bespoke Islamic inspired metal screens that he’d been commissioned to design and create for a client.

Designed to fit internally within the space in front of floor to ceiling sized window panes, the screens are made of 8mm thick stainless steel which has been laser cut to precisely form an intricate Islamic geometric pattern. The shapes in the screen and flow of light coming through them throw artistic shadow patterns while the robustness of the metal provides security.
Halifax based Eric first worked with Yorkshire Laser Fabrications in Normanton ten years ago on a similar commission for the same client’s London home. The new matt black powder coated screens were manufactured in sections in order to cover huge windows in an office setting measuring 250cm x 250cm or 140cm x 250cm.

“Steel is durable and reflects the type of screens that were made 400 – 500 years ago traditionally of wrought iron,” said Eric. “It is a traditional material for today’s security screens and the manufacturing technology that is now available opens up so many more opportunities for making them look beautiful.”
The screens are designed by Eric calling on his 25 years’ extensive knowledge of Islamic geometric art.

“There are hundreds of Islamic geometric patterns that have been created over the centuries and I know most of them which gives me an extensive repertoire to draw on. For screens important factors to consider include the density of the pattern and size of the apertures which determines not only the decorative nature of the screens but also whether a hand could potentially fit through as well as the width of the bands especially as they intersect and the colours that maybe used,” he explained.

“I design them in line with what is considered to be best practice in Islamic geometric design. These are rules going back hundreds of years which have been applied and I want to follow them too.”

Eric’s designs are sent digitally to Yorkshire Laser where they are processed and laser cut into the steel. The screens are then rolled flat, the necessary bracketry is welded on to enable them to be bolted into masonry and they are cleaned up and prepared before being powder coated.
“Metal is very unforgiving so it is essential they are exactly the correct size and that the sections fit together without interrupting the flow of the pattern,” explained Eric.

“I shopped around for potential manufacturers for the screens but still came back to Yorkshire Laser Fabrications. They did such a good job on the first project, are responsive, competitively priced and I knew I could trust them.”

Manufacturing the intricately designed screens isn’t without its challenges. With so much of the sheet metal needing to be cut away, doing so while minimising the amount of heat going into the metal in order to prevent distortion meant calling on YLF’s 15 years’ experience of sheet metal fabrication to come up with a solution.

“We programmed the laser to conduct a random cutting sequence skipping from one part of the sheet to another in order to keep the screens flat and straight,” explained Yorkshire Laser’s MD Matt Orford. “The steel lends itself beautifully to Eric’s geometric designs creating a product that is both artistically decorative and functional as a security screen.” 

To see more of Eric’s work, check out his website: